Court orders DoJ to comment on Trillanes motion

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THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has been ordered by the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148 to file its comment on the motion for partial reconsideration filed by Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV on his mutiny case.

Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony D. Fadullon confirmed in a text message that the prosecution has until Monday, Nov. 12, to file its comment/opposition against the appeal of Mr. Trillanes.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, also in a text message, said that the senator’s motion is up for hearing on Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m.

This is in connection with the Oct. 22 order of Judge Andres B. Soriano denying the motion of the DoJ to issue an arrest warrant and hold departure order against Mr. Trillanes for his long dismissed non-bailable coup d’etat case over the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny.

On the other hand, Mr. Soriano also upheld the legality and constitutionality of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which declared as void from the beginning the amnesty granted to Mr. Trillanes as it is “purely an executive act.”

In his motion for partial reconsideration filed on Nov. 5, Mr. Trillanes said the proclamation is not intended as a mere declaration or proclamation “but is clearly intended as an instrument or devise to nullify and/or declare the nullity” of Proclamation No. 75, Series of 2010, which granted him the amnesty, and the dismissal of the case in Sept. 21, 2011.

“Needless to state, there is a necessity now to declare the illegality and/or unconstitutionality of Proclamation No. 572, Series of 2018…,” the motion read.

“To rule otherwise would be tantamount to giving the President the license or the power to reverse and/or set-aside any court decision at any time he pleases, years or even decades after the same have been rendered,” it added.

In an interview with the media after an Oct. 30 hearing, Reynaldo B. Robles, legal counsel of Mr. Trillanes, said the senator is mulling the filing of partial reconsideration as the executive department is trying to use Proclamation No. 572 to nullify a court decision that is already final.

“It is not allowed under the Constitution, it’s only the courts, particularly the Supreme Court and the lower courts, which could entertain cases for the annulment or nullification of previous court decision as well as presidential proclamations,” he said.

The prosecution filed on Oct. 26 an appeal on the denial of its motion for the arrest of Mr. Trillanes.

Makati City RTC Branch 150 on Sept. 25 issued a different decision and granted the motion of the DoJ to arrest the senator over the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege.

Mr. Trillanes posted bail on the same day.

Mr. Trillanes’ motion for reception of evidence at Branch 150 has been submitted for resolution. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas